Twitter Censorship Now Country-Specific

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Twitter Censorship Now Country-Specific

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The "tweets still must flow," provided your local government agrees.

Today, a new policy went into effect that allows Twitter, to "reactively withhold content from users in a specific country," apparently in order to ensure the popular, micro-blogging service can flourish in countries with "different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression."

The blog post announcing the policy change used France and Germany's ban on pro-Nazi content as one example of content that may be withheld. However, critics claim the policy could be used to enforce less acceptable forms of censorship.

Previously, the only way Twitter dealt with content illegal in certain nations was to remove the offending content from the service altogether. Should a tweet be removed under the new policy, Twitter will "attempt" to let the user know and will apparently make it clear when and why the content was pulled.

"One of our core values as a company is to defend and respect each user's voice. We try to keep content up wherever and whenever we can, and we will be transparent with users when we can't," read the blog post.

This announcement comes almost exactly one year after Twitter was made inaccessible in Egypt during the 2011 protests, a movement many claim the service was partially responsible for starting. Last year, British Prime Minister, David Cameron, threatened to ban the service in the UK, after reports that rioters were using Twitter to organize riots. Twitter is currently banned outright in China, alongside several other social networking services.

All removed tweets and tweet removal requests are tracked by Chilling Effects, a collaborative archive maintained by several law school clinics and the Eletronic Frontier Foundation.

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Woohoo for censorship!

Seriously though... I don't like this at all. While I understand that some nations, and Germany in particular, would have some problems with pro-nazi content, you just know that this is going to be abused. Twitter did some good things during the Arab Spring, so allowing governments to ban or censor it... well it's basically giving dictators another way to fight the cause of freedom. And that just isn't right. :(

Ah, Egypt would love Twitter. If they're allowed to receive it.

It's a good thing that there's no Governments actively abusing social media networks at the moment, or there'd be a chance that something naughty might happen.

Especially if, say, a violent protest group were descending on a major English City on, say, the 4th of Feburary...and Twitter was blocked at the protest...so innocent people couldn't get information on how to outrun the hordes of thugs waiting to beat them up.

Or, say, innocent people in New York getting tear-gassed.

Or countries undergoing revoloutions being blocked because of the human atrocities being committed there.

But thank god that never happens. Because that would make it seem like Twitter was somehow involved with blocking communications from people in those areas.

There's obviously a very good reason why a service used to pass information should be blocked in a country specific way. And I'm sure they'll tell us as soon as they're allowed to.

Seventy years, isn't it?

As much as I hate social networking for my own personal reasons I understand its need to exist and it seems that more and more everyday there are new measures to try and regulate the internet. Now I don't want to be doom and gloom over every little thing but I am not amused by the potential this can have.

You do not have the right to stop everyone in the world from offending you. You do have the option of growing a thicker bullet/offensive proof skin. While certain issues need a bit more finesse than this solve all sledgehammer to the general issue it would probably solve so many problems if people actually adopted that.

So, they are censoring this shit so that nobody will get offended or estranged by other peoples views?

On the internet?

Really?

The internet?

That sort of stuff happens billions of times a second! WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that this step by Twitter is a mite distressing. I approve of Chilling Effects though.

That is completely horrendous! This should not be allowed! No matter what someone says no-one should be censored on Twitter. And censoring Nazi comments is a bad thing! It won't stop these people from having the views they do, and ignoring them will not make them go away. These things should be in public view, so that they have to face the huge opposition that they will inevitably get. And it is a way to spot warning signs of someone who might potentially be dangerous. I'm not saying that Twitter should be monitored, but having those statements out in the open should do a lot of good towards raising alarms before something bad happens.

That chilling effects and the one I've run into in the past are thankfully very different.

Otherwise, yeah not cool. Dave, what you chattin' son?

Because censoring things will make them go away. That's how it works just shut your eyes and nothing bad will happen kiddies!

One problem, just replace Nazi with Herp and Zekile with Derp!

"So the Herp meeting is at 12pm on a monday, don't be late guys! DERP!" Well I guess they should censor that now huh?

Hey Twitter I've got a message for you to Block
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The_root_of_all_evil:
Seventy years, isn't it?

If you're talking about what I think you're talking about, I wonder where the Wall will be this time.

If your people are rioting then you fix your country, not censor your Twitter.

You know what, fuck it. I'm done.

I'm done being pissed off about all these people in power trying to censor the internet. I just don't have the energy for it and to be perfectly honest it looks like it's going to happen whether we fight it or not. We're not getting through to them, and we never will. They may back down but they're convinced they're in the right.

They have the money and the resources to do whatever the hell they want, regardless of how much we protest. I mean ffs, they've already proven the democratic process can be circumvented by simply taking their agenda to the UN, where the voice of the people does not exist. How are we supposed to fight that? We can't, it's as simple as that.

I'd be pissed or even annoyed >.> but its twitter -.- who the hell cares, its a blight on the internet uncensored, this hardly changes anything to me

Well, this way they'll be ready when a SOPA or PIPA like law makes it through in the coming ten years.

DVS BSTrD:

The_root_of_all_evil:
Seventy years, isn't it?

If you're talking about what I think you're talking about, I wonder where the Wall will be this time.

Made of fire, and surrounding all the dictator led countries.

Maybe yours will be one of them? Australia already bends to the tune of their political 1%.

KeyMaster45:
I just don't have the energy for it and to be perfectly honest it looks like it's going to happen whether we fight it or not.

That's what they want. The public has quite a short term memory, and need to pay their bills, and get a proper job, and watch their recommended weight and follow instructions and buy from authorised companies and shop for things it does not need...

It's a war of attrition.

"Freeflow of information is the only safeguard against tyranny. The once chained people whose leaders at last lose their grip on information flow will soon burst with freedom and vitality. But a free nation gradually constricting its grip on public discourse has begun its rapid slide into despotism. Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master."

The systems behind Twitter aren't particularly complicated, knockoffs will arise. This does set a disturbing precedent though, putting business over free speech. If you know where the quote is from, I love you.

No, I'm sorry, but fuck you Twitter. Remove your censorship as a whole. You did the right thing by allowing the freedom of communication in an area as tumultuous as the Middle East. Don't back down for dictators that openly kill their own people and make Twitter open to all so that everyone can see that Twitter, social networking, and the internet as a whole is a much larger entity than these dictators or shitheads at House and Congress can fathom and can bring about change for the better.

Sincerely,

A fellow Egyptian.

Grey Carter:

The blog post announcing the policy change used France and Germany's ban on pro-Nazi content as one example of content that may be withheld. However, critics claim the policy could be used to enforce less acceptable forms of censorship.

There is no acceptable form of censorship.
Even Nazi morons shouldn't be censored, they should be arrested if they commit a crime, but not censored.

deth2munkies:
"Freeflow of information is the only safeguard against tyranny. The once chained people whose leaders at last lose their grip on information flow will soon burst with freedom and vitality. But a free nation gradually constricting its grip on public discourse has begun its rapid slide into despotism. Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master."

Commissioner Pravin Lal, "U.N. Declaration of Rights"

Now there's a game that needs an update.

Once a man has changed the relationship between himself and his environment, he cannot return to the blissful ignorance he left. Motion, of necessity, involves a change in perspective.

"You know, there are some words I've known since I was a schoolboy: ' With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably. -Captain Picard. TNG Drumhead.

I wont be silent when someone in the government tells me to.
More and more I truly wonder if we even live in a democracy anymore.

"One of our core values as a company is to defend and respect each user's voice. We try to keep content up wherever and whenever we can, and we will be transparent with users when we can't," read the blog post.

It's the stench of corporatespeak which disgusts me the most. If they cared so much about "each user's voice", they would not play nice with censorship regimes. The only reason to do so is to keep the business up and running; it's purely self-interested which makes their pieties about free speech quite revolting.

Offering European anti-Nazi censorship as an example is the most laughable part. While that's censorship some will (unwisely) swallow, the real hubbub about Twitter has been its use in brutal authoritarian countries and that is who Twitter is trying to make friends with.

Hey Google! Remember how you pulled out of China because you were sick of letting them tell you what to do? And how you put all that effort into protesting SOPA and PIPA because they could have similar effects on how you do business here?

Well, you know how you're trying to figure out how to compete with Twitter but can't think of anything to offer people that Twitter doesn't?

They just handed you the answer on a silver platter.

tmande2nd:
"You know, there are some words I've known since I was a schoolboy: ' With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably. -Captain Picard. TNG Drumhead.

I wont be silent when someone in the government tells me to.
More and more I truly wonder if we even live in a democracy anymore.

Technically it's a Democratic Republic. I think the only true democratic things we have left are our local governments. If we lived in a democracy then SOPA would never have been introduce, we wouldn't start a war every year that takes 5x as long to fight, and we wouldn't have to wait in the lobby of airports to greet people that fly to see us.

Only actual democracy that I think is in existence is Iceland. And I'm not actually sure if they still have it.

Americans take their Freedom of Speech for granted and many have no idea at all that most of the world has no such thing, including western allies like Britian and much of Europe. The very concept that what comes out of your mouth, however vile/wrong/offensive, will get you fined or thrown in jail is utterly alien to them.

Freedom of Speech may mean having to deal with the loud, vile and crazy, but it's worth it.

I think a new business venture just opened up, providing an uncensored twitter like program marketing primarily to countries with stringent censorship laws like China, Iran, and the US. Lets start looking for investors!

It always depresses me to see what I thought were civilized countries fail so miserably at even the simplest aspects of freedom.

Last year, British Prime Minister, David Cameron, threatened to ban the service in the UK, after reports that rioters were using Twitter to organize riots.

Seriously, David Cameron, what the fucking fuck!? You know what else is used to organize riots? Every other communication medium you can think of. Are you also going to ban phones, text messages, e-mail, message boards, Facebook, etc.? Hell, if you monitor Twitter and people use it to organize illegal activities, they're even notifying you of that in advance and you'll have evidence of their involvement after.

The blog post announcing the policy change used France and Germany's ban on pro-Nazi content as one example of content that may be withheld. However, critics claim the policy could be used to enforce less acceptable forms of censorship.

This is not an acceptable form of censorship at all. Even idiots are entitled to communicate their dumb ass ideas. How is this more acceptable than China's censorship? Perhaps China thinks the people they're censoring are just as wrong as we think Nazis are.

Be funny if they just used it to block those bloody #BIEBERWELOVEUSOMUCH topics.

All seriousness though censoring twitter if retarded and I hope the people who decided it was a good idea get eaten by snakes.

see, everytime someone gets a good idea, some other guy will come and say "hey, you do that - youll earn more money."
then, bad stuff happens.

NiPah:
I think a new business venture just opened up, providing an
uncensored twitter like program marketing primarily to countries with stringent censorship laws like China, Iran, and the US. Lets start looking for investors!

I like this idea.

People need to keep in mind that this censorship is, sadly, a necessary evil in order to avoid the site being completely blocked by these less than trustworthy governments.

If nothing else, it will be easier for Twitter-readers affected by censorship to bypass that than it would have been to bypass the site in its entirety being filtered out.

The_root_of_all_evil:

Seventy years, isn't it?

It's scary how close we're coming to this shit happens again.

If none of you guys have seen the techies on the news talking about this. Theres a super simple work around. All you need to do is change the country your in, and BAM you can see anything.

Ya the whole idea of it, censorship is bad, and what this could lead to. But for now...... it being EASILY worked around, I see no problem. They get into China, everyone had to click afew buttons, problem solved, were all happy.

Oh please, blaming Twitter for riots and rebellion is like blaming the phones people use. It's just censorship, plain and simple. There's no justification. If pro-Nazi material is banned in France and Germany, why isn't it the responsibility of their LAW ENFORCEMENT to watch over this?

Braedan:
If your people are rioting then you fix your country, not censor your Twitter.

This.
This smells like what didnt suceed on the big scele is now being done on the small scale.

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